The last Dragon Lady returns to China

Well, I can officially confirm the most selfish person on the planet is my mother in law.
While she and my father in law both have "permanent" American Green Cards, they still need to come back to America within a year, once they leave the country, to maintain them.

However, it seems they just don't like life here.

We gave them a HUD apartment.

We gave them TV.

We gave them Chinese markets and all the newspapers they could read.

We even gave them Chinese restaurants.

America is infinitely more comfortable for a Chinese than China for a Westerner.

True, we have our Starbucks, and McDonald's and our Americanized steak houses.  But is this really our culture?  In China I cannot watch CNN, or read the NY Times.  Even with VPN it is a chore.  I can freely read ESPN.  Certainly cannot listen to YouTube. 

I've got the club.  True.  But...I can't even drive in China.  And for any Westerner that does drive, that tells me the traffic in your own country is simpler worse than China's.   Do I exaggerate about life in China?  Of course I do.

People talk about how convenient life in China is with WeChat.  You can uber a driver, or pay with the swipe of your phone.....

If you have a Chinese bank account.  And only if you have a Chinese bank account.

Even when I lived in China, I didn't have a Chinese account.  China Wife does....good enough for me.   I challenge you to find an expat with a good paying job that actually has a Chinese bank account.  Why?  Because inevitably we go back to the West on business. And handle our financial transactions back home.  When I lived in China I was always careful to be sure I was paid in USD.

No way I was going to agree to RMB.  Ever.

If one has a family in China, it makes sense to get an account.  If one is purely "stationed" in China with no chance of flying home on a monthly or bi-monthly basis like I did, then "yeah", I see the need for the convenience.

Today we laowai can feel a little ostracized. 

When I was in the club in Nanjing recently, I paid with cash.  People looked at me.  They felt pity. 

"Poor soul doesn't understand how China works.".

But I digress.  Very much so.

My inlaws even had free health care here.  You see, despite what one reads in the news, America is actually a fantastic place for the elderly and the poor, and oh yeah the rich.  It just sucks for the rest of us.

I was so poor that my college was paid for by US government aid.  I didn't pay a red cent until it ran out after four years and I had one year left.  Then I panicked.  That's how I first fell into debt, actually.

It angers me to this day when I hear our poor youth complain about being "too poor" to go to college in America.  That is total bullshit. 

My inlaws met in the late 60's in China.   Arranged marriage.  She was very beautiful and he very handsome.  And they had a daughter, my China Wife.  Then they just stopped getting along.  Simple as that.  They haven't had sex since at least the 80's.  Haven't slept together since the time of Reagan. 

China Mother in Law was simply given some bad advice, which of course made sense at the time;

"If you don't love him, don't have another child."

Of course my philosophy is pretty simple.   "If you are gonna have one, gotta have two."  Which is what China Wife and I did.

So China Wife grows up alone and you know the rest of the story.

I can't blame China Mother in Law for never thinking for one minute that her daughter would leave her.  Not at all.   And that was my bad.  I fully admit to that.  But now we have two kids.  And your daughter lives 8000 miles from the beautiful shores of West Lake.

And what the fuck do you want to do, China Mother in Law?  You want to go back to China!

You've only been here two months, not staying in your HUD apartment a single night.  Yes, we continue to pay rent.  Yes, the HUD folks are well within their rights to kick your ass out.  There is a two year wait list for your apartment.  Don't you feel bad going back to China for 6 months at a time?

I admit I was happy when you left.  Can't stand you most of the time.  Your know it all attitude.  Your incessantly unconditional support of your daughter(except when you wish to mock me), your anger when I verbally lecture my children(ok, sometimes I yell, but my oldest daughter deserves it, trust me) 

I can care less where you live, what continent or shore.  But my kids need to see their Chinese grandmother once in awhile, ok?  And my wife her parents.

So you are depressed. Feeling down.  I despise your naked, class drive and unreserved condescending attitude towards the other elderly Chinese that live in our subdivision.  That is not what America is about and I certainly was not raised that way.

But you simply think you are better than most people.  And to your credit, you won't apologize for who you are.  And I DO NOT want my children to grow up like you.

But your place is here.  We are your family.  Further, China Father in Law doesn't want to go back it either.  And he's five years older than you!  (Yes, I've succeeded in getting him hooked on Netflix with Chinese subtitles..)

And you can care less if you desert your only daughter, because you know, that's what it really is.  And your only two grandchildren?  You show zero interest in their lives.  I know you are depressed.  Isn't being around your children the best way to solve this common issue?

I simply want my children to know their Chinese grandparents before they leave home, and well...before you die.

If you feel better off in a faraway country then here with your only child and grandchildren, then go.  Leave us here to figure out why you will be happier "there", rather than "here".

Go find your Savior in China.  America, despite who lives here, is obviously not the Promised Land for you.


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